Hi Dr. Rich,
I am a 40 year old female with two small children who was sent to have an echo done due to fatigue. I don't get a lot of sleep which is what I wrote it off being but my echo came back saying "mild pulmonary hypertension".
I am going for a lung function test because my doctor feels it may be due to asthma.
I have been reading about PAH and I am absolutely terrified. If this is what I have, is it possible to reverse it? Are there many false positive results in an echo?
Any help in clarifying this will help. I am having a great deal of anxiety over this.
First, let me begin by telling you that echo is notorious for being wrong when it comes to diagnosing pulmonary hypertension. And what is so unfortunate is that it is being increasingly used to make the diagnosis of this serious illness resulting in a lot of anxiety and unnecessary testing for patients.
My advice to you is to seek out a physician who is expert in pulmonary hypertension if your doctor is seriously considering this diagnosis. The only way to truly diagnose and properly assess for pulmonary hypertension is with a right heart catheterization (and invasive but extremely safe procedure).
I suspect there is a very good chance that you do NOT have pulmonary hypertension and if you do, it may be mild and have nothing to do with your symptoms of fatigue. However, I would need a lot more information to know for sure and I suggest you start by finding a trusworthy and experienced cardiologist.
If by chance you do have PAH, a minority of cases will be entirely reversible and for the rest there are treatments available. I would tell you to not be anxious but I suspect the best cure for your anxiety will be once you see a reputable doctor who can hopefully tell you that you do not have PAH.
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